With a big wad of Bill Gates charity funds, Crosscut.com publisher David Brewster has officially taken his web site non-profit. The former Seattle Weekly publisher announced his news-generating-and-aggregating site has been granted tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.
In a post this morning, Brewster said the revamped venture received a $100,000 gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "This key lead gift, along with $50,000 of funding from generous individuals, is meant to launch Crosscut's new mission of providing online local journalism in the public interest, and to build Crosscut's capacity and sustainability." He also announced a Charter Membership Drive, seeking support from readers.
In recent months, Brewster was slow in paying contributors during the long march to official non-profit status. Now they've added three new hires, Brewster says, convinced a reader-supported j-site, the "public model," will fly. The question is whether he can do it without Gates as his co-pilot.